This release is mostly (almost all of it) about "updates". We are trying to release a new TROMjaro ISO every month so that new users get to test and install an updated version of TROMjaro. Past users get these updates automatically. However, on top of these updates we may push little changes that we will always list with the release. For this release we did the following:
- Enabled the pinch-to-zoom in Firefox for touchscreen devices. If you already have a touchscreen device we recommend you do that too since it greatly improves the zoom ability for websites. Go to about:config (write that in the URL bar) and search for "setting apz.allow_zooming". Click it to enable it.
- We added a new Gnome Extension: "Zorin Screen Keyboard Button" to easily access the virtual keyboard when you are using a tablet-computer.
This update deals mainly with keeping TROM-Jaro updated for those who want to install it from scratch. From time to time we will update the iso for the sake of having an updated TROM-Jaro for security and compatibility reasons. However, on top of that we added/improved the following:
- Added the kernel-alive package to make sure that when people update the kernel, the update won't break the current session. Normally it is recommended to restart the computer after a kernel update, but with this package it is not necessary to do that unless you want to use the new kernel updates. Previous TROM-Jaro users can click the above URL and install the package.
- Switched to the new Kernel 5.4 LTS. This is a Long Time Support kernel (LTS). It is a rare event that happens every few years. We recommend that old TROM-Jaro users update to the new kernel. It is very easy. Install manjaro-settings-manager (another new package that we added to this new ISO). Open it. Go to 'Kernel'. Then, where it says kernel 5.4 (xx) LTS, click install.
Once the installation is complete simply reboot the computer. That's all.
- We added a Sound Switcher Gnome extension so it is easier to change the sound output (speakers/headphones) and sound input (microphone) directly from the top right bar. Previous TROM-Jaro users can click the above URL, then enable it.
- We replaced the Volume Scroll Gnome extension with Scrolvol because Scrolvol is better maintained/updated. They do the same thing, allowing users to change the volume by scrolling on top of the top bar. Scrolvol only works when you scroll on the top right (indicators) part of the top bar. We may try to make it work with the entire top bar in the future. Previous TROM-Jaro users can simply disable the Volume Scroll extenssion and enable the Scrolvol.
- We made WebTorrent open the video files that it cannot play, with SMplayer by default, instead of VLC. This is a bug in WebTorrent that doesn't let you change the default player from its preferences so we had to do it manually. Previous TROM-Jaro users can do that by navigating to Home/.config/WebTorrent (if you can't find the folder press Ctrl + H to see the hidden folders) and simply edit the file called 'config.json' with the default text editor. At the line 'externalPlayerPath': '' add /usr/bin/smplayer so it looks like 'externalPlayerPath': '/usr/bin/smplayer'. Save and that's it.
- We added some packages and custom configs to Firefox to make TROM-Jaro work better with touchscreen devices. Autorotation or touch gestures for Firefox are some of the improvements we added. If you are already using TROM-Jaro and have a touchscreen device, use our chat support so we can help you do these changes.
This is a major release because we have re-organized everything behind how TROMjaro is created in the back-end. Not much has changed for the front-end users except that they should migrate to our new repository.
What did we improve?
All of our TROMjaro project is now on GitLab thanks to Dave who worked like crazy to make TROMjaro properly organized and functional. On top of that, we added a few packages from AUR and made a few of our own mainly to brand Manjaro with our own TROMjaro flavor. The GDM, the GRUB, the Installer, they all have a TROM scent!
In essence we did this:
- Removed Manjaro branding and replaced it with TROM branding.
- Moved our repository to TROM Cloud and we are now using a mirror-list rather than a simple URL for it. This way, we can properly manage our repository from TROM Cloud and add multiple repository locations, so in case one is down, another one will work.
- We made an "app" for our TROM Cloud that now resides in our repo - this is mainly for our TROM Teams.
- We now store the Gnome settings in "schema" files on GitLab in order to fix a major bug: previously if the user selected the language, timezone, keyboard layout and so forth on installation, all of these settings would have been rewritten after the installation was done. No more! We also used to drag a lot of Gnome Settings garbage with how we used to store the Gnome Settings in the past. No more!
- We fixed an error with Gnome Tweaks that disabled all Gnome Extensions on user logout.
- We added a custom slider for the TROMjaro installer describing what TROMjaro is all about and a bit about the trade-free idea.
- We now use the default Gnome apps categorization for TROMjaro so that each app goes to its proper folder after installation.
- Because we realized that the last iso was too minimal and not-so-computer-savvy-users found it difficult to use it without installing a bunch of apps, we made sure that this time, most of the user's needs are covered. We installed applications that allow users to open the most common files (audio, video, photo, documents, torrents). You can find the list on our new TROMjaro homepage https://www.tromjaro.com/.
- We tweaked Firefox a bit, removed some extensions and added a few others. Most notably, we implemented the DAT decentralized network into Firefox by default, which allows people to open .dat websites "natively".
What do previous users have to do?
First of all, you have to understand that we want a TROMjaro that doesn't change from one release to another. We want to create the foundation of a house and let the user put the furniture in and all of that. Make it comfy for themselves. But we needed to do this foundation properly and we think that now we got it. So that's how TROMjaro will look like from now on, as this last iso is.
That being said, you MUST do this:
- Update the repository database. Go to your Add/Remove Software and click the menu button. Then click Refresh Databases:
- It will ask you for your password then it will update the repositories. After it is done search for "tromjaro-mirrorlist" in the Add/Remove Software. Find it and install it. That should be it! Close the Add/Remove Software then open it again- Refresh the databases one more time. Now you have access to the new TROMjaro repository.
What else can you do? To use our custom branding, some fixes we made, and the DAT network, install the following (search for them in Add/Remove Software):
To summarize for previous users:
- We changed where our repository resides so please update that.
- We added some TROMjaro branding so you can also add that to your system.
- We added a few default apps that you can find on tromjaro.com homepage from where you can also install them if you want to.
- We removed/added some Firefox extensions - all of the default extensions are listed on the same tromjaro.com homepage (click any extension to install it if you desire).
That's all! We are available on TROMjaro Support Chat if you need us.
In this release we cleaned-up the distribution a bit and enabled the support for installing applications directly from tromjaro.com. We thought that since now it is super easy to install our recommended trade-free apps from the website, there is little use for us to install many applications by default. We want to keep the ISO as minimal as possible and let people decide what applications they want installed on their system. We only kept the basic and most functional apps that are crucial for the system, such as backups, settings and tweaks, and the like.
- We removed/added a few Firefox addons. From now on we will only add the most basic Firefox addons that protect the users from the online trades that they are forced to engage in. So we are blocking ads and trackers + unlock scientific articles that are hidden behind paywalls. We will start to add recommended Firefox addons to our tromjaro.com/apps so we treat it like we treat the main distribution, with the same goal in mind: let users choose how to customize their Firefox.
- We removed a bunch of apps from the system, like LibreOffice, Webtorrent, and the like, only leaving the most basic ones in place.
- We removed a few Gnome extensions since we will also start to curate/recommend them on our tromjaro.com/apps page. Let the user choose!
- We added support for installing applications from tromjaro.com/apps or any website that wants to implement it. Here is the package that allows for such a feature.
- We removed some packages to make the distribution lighter, including some Manjaro branding.
- Overall we reduced the size of the ISO from 2.2GB to 1.6GB.
- We added 3 more backgrounds.
For the next release we aim to store the Gnome Settings in a much better manner so that the install configs (language, keyboard layout, location and hour) are not overwritten like they are now. We will also add our own branding to the distribution. We wanted to do both of these for this release but we did not have the man power to do them :D.
NOTE: For previous TROM-Jaro users there is nothing special you have to do except updating the TROMrepo (since we removed some packages) - open the terminal and copy paste "sudo pacman -Syu" - enter, then add your password. Second, add this line in the terminal "sudo pacman -Syu pamac-url-handler --overwrite /usr/bin/pamac-url-handler" (enter) - so that you better enable the support for the web-installer. That's all.